This time last year Philadelphia was practically throwing a parade for the 2011 Phillies. For the most part, we’ll have to hope that the same lineup we were all so excited about gets it done this year.
Jimmy Rollins is back, and that’s ok. I’m not going to rehash my doubts about the shortstop. I just would have liked to see some new blood in the lineup. Despite his comments in the press conference announcing the signing, where he suggested he could have been in Milwaukee and in my mind seemed to hint that he wasn’t convinced that this might not be his last contract, it’s clear Rollins was not all that sought after. I’m curious about why the Phillies weren’t more aggressive in trying to replace him, but bringing him back certainly isn’t something to get outraged about.
Jim Thome is a nice addition to the roster with Ryan Howard’s status up in the air due to injury, and the relief pitching is obviously stronger with Jonathan Papelbon now in the bullpen. I guess it’s still possible Ryan Madson comes back, but at some point I have to think the Phillies reach a limit in what they will spend – though they haven’t shown that lately.
Fans might not be as giddy as last year, but the Phillies remain the best prospect of a championship in this city.